This post is part rant and part plea for advice...
We unschool and because we live in NY we have to file LOTS of paperwork with our school district. For that reason, I'd really like to hear from other NY unschoolers who have figured out how to handle this.
We just started this year (age 6, K) and because I am a NYS certifiable teacher in early childhood ed I know the learning standards and all the fancy education lingo and bull...so I had no problem with age-appropriate goals for the IHIP. But these quarterly reports are just freaking ridiculous! I mean, seriously...my kids don't make very notable progress in 2 months! Sometimes there's barely any change for months at a time and then, bam, they'll get an interest and surge ahead! It's called REAL learning, not forced learning. Ugh.
I am considering just buying a common homeschooling curriculum and just (lying) reporting that we're doing that. That would be so much easier. Right now I'm reporting every nuance of their learning and their quarterly reports are 4 pages each! Is that too long? I've never seen a sample not written to following a curriculum program, so I don't know. Here is a sample paragraph:
Number identification: 0-10, counts to 20, writes numbers 0-8 (copying 1-20), addition 1-3 or so (beginning), subtraction of 1-2 only (beginning), fractions: understands ½ and sometimes ¼ (beginning), patterns (intermediate), time-telling: understands how to read hour on analog and digital clocks (beginning), coin identification: penny, sometimes quarter (beginning), calendar skills: we do the calendar daily (beginning).
EVALUATION: Strengths: XXX likes to count and write numbers. She’s improved on her number-writing significantly this quarter! Her understanding of patterns is quite advanced for her age. She sees the practical application of math in everyday life and has a strong life-foundation for mathematics. Developing Skills/Concepts: XXX is capable of getting a better grasp on some basic concepts (more basic arithmetic, coin identification, and time-telling) but just needs the exposure and interest to come along as the year progresses. She enjoys Starfall.com and educational games we play that expose her to these concepts so skills will develop.
GRADE: Meets Expectations"
Am I doing it right?
I was on the verge of going under radar and talked to many other unschooling parents about it who said the paperwork and testing was NOT a big deal....I feel like screaming, "LIARS!" or thinking they are not true unschoolers...ugh.
I don't really know what to do...maybe I'm just doing it all wrong? How do others survive this?! I don't want reporting to run my life or take up more of my time/energy than it's worth. I don't want to have to keep a notepad with me constantly and write down every time they ask about something! I'm even considering getting a legal residential address in another (non-reporting) state to get out of this mess.
Thanks :( Sorry for the vent, just SO frustrated.